By REYNALD MAGALLON
Mark Magsayo scored a sensational one-punch knockout victory against Mexican fighter Isaac Avelar to announce his arrival to the super featherweight class on Sunday, Dec. 10 (Manila time) at the Infinite Studios in Long Beach California.
Magsayo took advantage of Avelar’s buckling knees and pressed him to the ropes before unloading a vicious left hook that dropped his opponent like a log to the canvas, forcing referee Ivan Guillermo to stop the bout at the 1:13 mark of the third round.
Even before that, the 28-year-old pride of Tagbilaran City, Bohol was already dominating the contest, having caught Avelar with a whistling combination that dropped the Mexican to his knees early in that same round.Avelar would beat the count and get up, unknowingly that it was only a warning to a forthcoming disaster.
Although alert and able to move his arms and feet, he was stretchered off the venue as a precautionary measure.
“I’m praying for the safety of my opponent Isaac Avelar [because] in the end we’re boxers and outside the ring we are brothers. We are fighting for our families and our countries. I hope Isaac is okay,” Magsayo posted on X (formerly Twitter.
Still, it was a masterful performance to the Filipino pug nicknamed ‘Magnifico’ who was aggressor from the opening bell, displaying superb accuracy and fire power to improve his record to 25-2, with 17 knockouts.
Avelar, who was on the defensive for the most part of the fight, had his moments, connecting on occasional counter right hooks that somehow slowed down Magsayo but couldn’t really build up momentum with the Filipino fighter also landing staggering combinations.
Magsayo looked sharp and lethal in his first fight in the 130-pound division and since absorbing two consecutive defeats in the featherweight class including the loss to Mexican Rey Vargas who took his World Boxing Council (WBC) title belt in July last year.